SFMTA dismisses parking ticket man received while recovering in hospital from stabbing

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Anthony De Guzman was stabbed, twice, after parking his car near his house in San Francisco's Excelsior District. He says he was just getting home from his security guard job at 1 a.m. on Dec. 5 when he was attacked.

De Guzman was rushed to the SF General Hospital. But later that day, he says he got a parking ticket because his car was parked in a street-cleaning zone.

"I was lucky that I didn't die. And (later), they gave me a ticket. There is no remorse on their end or empathy on their end," De Guzman said about SFMTA.

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He says he spent two weeks in the hospital after undergoing surgery, and can't go back to work until March. He tried to appeal the ticket, not because of the money, but he says, as a matter of principle.

Mayor London Breed tweeted Friday morning saying De Guzman's ticket has been dismissed.

"We checked in this morning and I'm relieved to say that the citation has been dismissed through the appeals process," Breed said. "We need to improve the transparency of this process moving forward to avoid this kind of confusion and hardship."



SFMTA also responded on Friday through Twitter saying they cleared the ticket on Thursday and explained there's a two-step process when contesting a citation.

"Mr. De Guzman's situation is certainly tragic, and we're actively looking into opportunities to improve communications for this type of situation. Following our process, however, we did dismiss the citation yesterday."



Mayor Breed and SFMTA's reposnse comes after De Guzman's struggle to get the parking ticket appealed. De Guzman said that SFMTA refuted the claims that he was in the hospital.

"We showed the police the docket number. And we showed that I was in the hospital," explains De Guzman.



In a letter dated January 22, in response to De Guzman's appeal, SFMTA writes that the evidence was "insufficient to overcome the validity of the citation."

In an email to ABC7 News, SFMTA wrote:

"We have a system in place to contest a citation to bring extenuating circumstances to light. We understand that each case is different, and the system we have in place accounts for unfortunate situations like Mr. De Guzman's. We review these protests, and make a far determination on a case-by-case basis. It is important to provide as much evidence as possible, such as a police report or hospital admissions record, for staff to review."

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SFMTA says De Guzman only submitted a police docket number, not the police record. It also says the SFMTA website has a place to upload the necessary documents and link to quickly access police reports.



De Guzman paid the $79 ticket to avoid further fees. He says he is still unsure if he will continue to fight because it could end up costing him more.

"The time that I would spend going through this, it would even be costing me more," says De Guzman. "I have no reason why they couldn't understand my situation.

On Friday, SFMTA replied to ABC7 News' story and tweeted, "Our two-step process when contesting a citation is designed to eliminate favoritism and treat all appellants fairly. The first step is based solely on the facts of the matter, while the second step, with a hearing officer, takes extenuating circumstances into account."
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